Lanka does not have vision to win WC 2019 – Arjuna Ranatunga | Daily News
Blames former Sports Minister for allowing gamblers to enter cricket

Lanka does not have vision to win WC 2019 – Arjuna Ranatunga

Former World Cup winning captain and present Minister Arjuna Ranatunga.
Former World Cup winning captain and present Minister Arjuna Ranatunga.

Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga said that the Sri Lanka Cricket does not have a vision to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup and blamed the past and present Sports Ministers for the plight the country’s cricket has fallen to today.

“I don’t think winning the 2019 World Cup will be an easy task. We lost to Bangladesh and to Afghanistan and the blame should not only go to the captain, but to the selection committee as well,” said Ranatunga. “There was a T20 tournament held before the Asia Cup when Sri Lanka was to participate in an ODI tournament. We don’t have a vision.”

Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka can still train the cricketers properly and get them ready for the World Cup provided the Sri Lanka Cricket constitution is amended and elections held.

“If they don’t want to appoint an Interim Committee until the election, they should appoint veteran cricketers like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Sidath Wettimuny and Muthiah Muralitharan to run cricket. The current Sports Minister (Faiszer Mustapha) should also take the responsibility,” said Ranatunga, the Minister of Petroleum Resources Development at a welfare program ‘Gamey Pansala Gamata Saviyak’ held at Katunayake Walana Temple yesterday.

Ranatunga also lashed out at former Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera for allowing gamblers to enter cricket and hold administrative posts.

“This government has degraded cricket and Dayasiri should be responsible for that. People will call Dayasiri as ‘Bookisiri’, because of his Bookipala stories,” said the former cricket captain under whose leadership Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996.

Responding to a query to a statement made by Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara that cricket could not be upgraded as long as Ranatunga was around, Ranatunga responded: “It was the Sport Minister although being a lawyer who allowed gamblers to enter cricket. Gamblers have destroyed the sport.”

“People know who Dayasiri is. Before the 2015 Presidential election he called the President as ‘Hitan Hutan’ and that he is spineless. But he accepted the ministerial post before the President.

He defamed Susanthika Jayasinghe and Lasith Malinga. Please look into the monies that were spent during his time as Sports Minister to establish sports grounds in rural areas whether it was spent properly. Prof. G.L. Peiris and ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa know Dayasiri better than me,” Ranatunga said.

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